War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0888 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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direction of White Oak Swamp and the Charles City road. A strong picket line was established from a mile to a mile and a half in advance. Enemy's pickets were found at many points.

On the 30th, in consequence of an attack upon General Casey's pickets, my brigade and two batteries were thrown out by direction of General Couch upon the left of General Casey's division, where they remained several hours awaiting the enemy's movements.

On the 31st, a little after 11 a. m., heavy picket firing was heard in front. The falling of several shells into the vicinity of my headquarters satisfied me that the enemy was advancing upon Casey's division.

In accordance with directions from General Couch my brigade was at once placed on the principal road connecting the Richmond Stage road with the Charles City road, for the purpose of holding the left flank. A portion of Major West's artillery was placed at my disposal and held in reserve. Being in position, with my right resting near the artillery of the division, I sent out numerous parties in every direction to gain information. At the opening of the engagement I was instructed by General Couch to send the Ninety-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel McCarter, to take position on the left of Casey's division. the regiment moved into line quickly and held its ground as long as possible, falling back with the general line on its right, but in excellent order.

About 1 p. m. General Keyes, commanding Fourth Corps, detached the Fifty-fifth New York Volunteers, under Lieutenant-Colonel Thourot, from my command and led them into position himself. This regiment was placed in support of one of the advance batteries and acquitted itself in a creditable manner. It will be a matter of deep regret to Colonel De Trobriand that he was prevented by illness from participating in this engagement. Later in the day General Keyes dispatched the Sixty-second New York Volunteers, Colonel Riker, to the support of General Couch on the extreme right.

About 3 p. m. the Ninety-third Pennsylvania Volunteers rejoined me with colors flying, and was placed on the left of my line. At this critical juncture General Keyes sent an order for my two remaining regiments to move on the main road in support of the front, which he countermanded immediately on learning the advance of the enemy on the left and the importance of the position held by me with so small a force, unsupported by artillery.

About 3.30 p. m. Captain Morris, assistant adjutant-general, had an interview with General Heintzelman, who inquired if I could press forward on the extreme left of the line. On being informed that several roads connecting the Charles City road and the main road to Richmond led into the road held by me he appreciated the importance of the position, and directed me to hold it at all hazards.

About 4.30 p. m. Generals Heintzelman and Keyes informed me that the enemy was assailing our right flank in great force, and urged me to push forward the regiments at a double-quick for its support. I moved off at the head of the One hundred and second Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel Rowley, followed by the Ninety-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel McCarter, across the open field, under the concentrated fire of numerous batteries and of heavy musketry from the right. These regiments came into line handsomely, pressed forward on the enemy, and contributed their best energies to sustain their comrades so gallantly contesting, inch by inch, the advancing foe. For about the space of half an hour our lines swayed forward and back repeatedly, and at last, unable to withstand the pressure from successive re-enforce-